When my son Luke was 10 years old, I was trying to help him understand what really happened at the cross. I decided to use a science fiction metaphor to help him visualize the idea of Jesus taking on the sin of the world into His body. I asked him to imagine that sin was like a black vapor — a murky fog-like substance of filth and destruction.

Together we pictured Jesus hanging on the cross, His body in excruciating pain with every nerve ending on fire. I said, “At this moment the Father begins the most difficult part of the plan. Pretend that you are there and you can see sin being pulled out of all of those standing around the cross — a black vapor is sucked into the body of Jesus. The circle grows and more and more sin is pulled out of the soldiers and the spectators. The circle grows further and eventually all the sin of Jerusalem is pouring out in a thick black dark vapor into the body of Christ. As a circle expands, it moves beyond one region and slowly moves around the entire surface of the Earth — drawing out the sin of everyone who is alive — into His body. As He held that sin, the physical pain now pails in comparison, overshadowed by the pain of the sin of the whole world on Him.

The Father whispers, “Have you got it Son?” And the Son, in His spirit, replies, “I’ve got it Father”. Then the Father rolls back time to the beginning of mankind and all the sin of all the people that lived before, is drawn out and the vapor is incredibly thick and the sin so heavy. It was all drawn into the broken body of Jesus. With all the sins of those past and those present, the Father winds time forward to the end of our age and draws out all the sin of all mankind from the future, into the precious body of His Son.

At that moment the Father turns His face away from His only Son so that one day He would never have to turn His face away from you. And then, with all the sin of the world past, present and future, Jesus gives up His life willingly. It showed the world that the sacrifice was greater than the sin! The perfect lamb was slain for all mankind.”

What were you planning to add to that? What good deed or self righteous effort could add to the perfect work of the cross on your behalf?